Let’s face it. Job interviews are hard. They’re like first dates, but without booze. The expectations are high, and so are the stakes. As a candidate, you want to do your best, and showcase your best to a person you have yet to build rapport with – and that’s not easy.
Any social setting where you are seated face-to-face with a complete stranger can be daunting. Add the pressure of wanting to impress that person for another meeting, and you’ve got a date. Add a CV, and you’ve got a job interview. Minus the booze. But this isn’t about dating. This is about your future job, and giving you the best possible tools to meet the challenges of the interview head on – fully equipped to nail it. So let’s talk about everything a candidate needs to know for a job interview.
More Than An Interview
During a job interview, a candidate is assessed for their skills, experience, competencies, potential and cultural fit. The person must demonstrate not only the functional skills but the competencies required for the role. A common misconception is that a job interview is only about a candidate’s current role, and the role they are applying for. Job interviews are far wider in scope, and look at a candidate’s overall performance in previous roles, as well as potential future roles in the company hiring. The candidate is not only being assessed on their current situation, but their suitability for the company at large. You must prove you are a long-term fit.
With a number of candidates all vying to pass the job interview, you can’t set yourself up for an ‘adequate’ performance. Set yourself apart from the other candidates, making yourself memorable, and setting the benchmark for all other candidates to meet. The first task at hand is committing to give the interview the very best of you. This means putting all the skills, knowledge and hard-work to the test, by preparing for the interview as a test of these traits. It involves research, planning, and executing the interview in the same manner as you would any professional project you have – and intend to work on.
Know Your Self
The subject of the job interview is not the role in question. It is you. Do you meet the requirements in question, not whether they fit you. As the subject of the interview, it’s always a good idea to get to know yourself first. Ask yourself these questions – and answer them beforehand:
To this regard, knowing your CV is simply not enough. You are more than your CV. They’ve already read your CV, and now, they want to read you. So, be an open book. Enable them to navigate and capture the essence of your professional self with clarity and ease, by making sure your ‘book’ is a page-turner! For example:
Know The Subject. Inside-Out.
The topic of the conversation is your professional fit for the role, and company at large. Therefore, you must be ready to discuss and demonstrate your professional choices, expertise and knowledge. During employment, it is easy to rest, perhaps complacently, in the comfort zone of a role for a prolonged period of time, and lose touch with your role’s wider consequences on the company, and industry as a whole. It is now time to make those connections, for the role you filled, and for the one you aspire to:
Check part II here.